5 Oct 2011

Football rights dispute

10:51 am on 5 October 2011

A woman who runs a pub in England has won a legal battle against the English Premier League over screening football matches using a foreign TV decoder.

The case could have major implications for the future sale of broadcast rights.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that UK legislation which stopped Karen Murphy using a Greek satellite decoder at her pub in Portsmouth, goes against the freedom to provide services.

Lawyer Paul Dixon says the ruling means pubs will now be able to take out cheaper subscriptions to foreign television channels.

The European Court of Justice says national laws which prohibit the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards are contrary to the freedom to provide services.

Its findings will now go to the High Court in London for a final ruling.

The BBC reports the decision could trigger a shake-up for the Premier League and its current exclusive agreements with Sky Sports and ESPN.

However, the ruling also threw up a number of copyright issues.